Ein Star hinter Gittern

BANGKOK – Joseph Estrada, der in Ungnade gefallene frühere Präsident der Philippinen ist mit der Aussicht konfrontiert, den Rest seines Lebens im Gefängnis verbringen zu müssen, nachdem ihn ein Sondergericht in Manila für schuldig befand, Bestechungs- und Schmiergelder in der Höhe von rund 15 Millionen Dollar kassiert zu haben. In den 30 Monaten seiner Amtszeit von Mitte 1998 bis Anfang 2001 floss Geld aus illegalem Glücksspiel und aus manipulierten (mit Mitteln der Sozialversicherung finanzierten) Aktienverkäufen in die Taschen Estradas, der einen großen Teil der Gewinne auf ein privates Konto unter falschem Namen abzweigte.

Estrada hat den Tatbestand der Plünderung buchstäblich selbst definiert: Zu Beginn der 1990er Jahre war er nämlich als Senator Mitglied des Kongresses, der jenes Gesetz verabschiedete, nach dessen Buchstaben er jetzt verurteilt wurde. Viele Philippinos sehen darin mehr als genug Dramatik und gewiss mehr Ironie als in allen Action-Komödien Estradas aus den 1960er Jahren.

Die Bedeutung der einstimmigen Gerichtsentscheidung, den ersten philippinischen Präsidenten, der je einem Strafprozess unterzogen wurde, zu verurteilen, wird nicht heruntergespielt. Gleichwohl befinden wir uns auf den Philippinen, wo Imelda Marcos noch immer frei und unbehelligt lebt. Trotz massenhafter Beweise für Tod, Armut, Leiden und Krisen, die sie und ihr verstorbener Ehemann, der Diktator Ferdinand Marcos, über das Land gebracht haben, ist der einzige wirkliche Fehlschlag mit dem sie sich in der Zeit danach auseinander zu setzen hatte, die Tatsache, dass sie bei den Präsidentenwahlen, an denen sie teilnehmen durfte, unterlag.

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